Trades winds blow hard as free agency opens

Several big-name players were traded at the outset of free agency as quarterbacks, tight ends, defensive tackles and draft picks were all part of the dealings.

Free agency wasn’t just about the free agents. Several big-name players were dealt as the new league year opened at 3 p.m. Central Tuesday with a big bang.

As the Detroit Lions prepped to lose defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to the Miami Dolphins, they found themselves an impressive consolation prize, trading for Baltimore Ravens nose tackle Haloti Ngata and a seventh-round pick and reportedly giving up a fourth- and fifth-round pick to get it done.

But as big as that trade was, within minutes, the trade wires were buzzing with more.

The New Orleans Saints dealt versatile pass-catcher Jimmy Graham and a fourth-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks for center Max Unger and a first-round pick.

The Rams traded QB Sam Bradford to the Eagles in exchange for Nick Foles and draft-pick compensation.

And that wasn’t the only quarterback throwing through the trade winds of March. The Vikings had already announced a deal to send QB Matt Cassel and a sixth-round pick to the Bills for an exchange a fifth-round pick in 2015 and a seventh-round pick in 2016 in a move to rid themselves of Cassel’s $4.75 million salary-cap hit.

Of course, the Buffalo Bills and Eagles were also partners in another blockbuster trade that was agreed to before the start of free agency, with RB LeSean McCoy going to the Bills in exchange for LB Kiko Alsonso. That trade also became official on Tuesday, along with the Chicago Bears sending WR Brandon Marshall to the New York Jets for a fifth-round pick, marking a day of heavy player movement, even without the usually flurry of free-agent activity.

Late Tuesday afternoon, the Houston Texans also announced they traded QB Case Keenum back to the St. Louis Rams for a seventh-round pick. After trading Bradford and losing Shaun Hill to the Vikings in free agency, it made sense for the Rams to acquire a quarterback with some familiarity with the team.

CLICK HERE for NFL free agency stories


FREE AGENCY POSITIONAL PREVIEWS


OFFENSE: Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end |
Offensive tackle | Offensive guard | Center
DEFENSE: Defensive tackle | Defensive end | Outside linebacker
Inside linebacker | Safety | Cornerback

SCOUT.COM FREE AGENT RANKINGS

Prospects by: OVERALL RANK | Position | 2014 Team | Signed Team  | Name
Position: QB RB FB WR TE OT OG C DT DE OLB MLB S CB K P LS





Scout NFL Network Top Stories